I came up with this idea for our domestic church four years ago (in 2013) and have been meaning to share it here. The inspiration for this project came from errantem animum, an absolutely wonderful and amazing blog. I LOVED the O Antiphon images he came up with (and is kindly freely sharing with the world!), and knew I had to incorporate them into our Catholic home life in some manner. Plus, our oldest child at the time had just turned two years old, and I wanted something special that he could do for Advent. So, I put together an O Antiphons poster.
The poster is hung without the disks in our prayer room, then each day before evening prayer, beginning December 17 and for the remainder of Advent, a child can attach (with tacky) the day’s O Antiphon disk to the poster. Simple. Easy. If you want to make a similar one:
1. Visit errantem animum’s Misc. Post Illustrations page, scroll down to the O Antiphon images, and copy them to your computer. Print these images on white card stock, in whatever size you want (I printed two images to a page). I wrote the corresponding date for each disk on the back side of the card stock and laminated them. Be sure to send up a prayer for that blog’s creator – there is a lot of amazing work in there!
2. Take four sheets of dark purple card stock, line them up to assemble a poster, and tape three of the four seams together. By using card stock instead of poster board, and taping only three seams, you can easily fold and store the poster in a file folder to use the following year.
3. On the other side of the poster, use your disks to trace circles for where each disk will eventually go. I used a red sharpie for this.
4. With the seven circles and disks placed, the poster just didn’t look complete. So, I went and bought a $2 pack of metallic markers. I then labelled each circle with its O Antiphon (Latin in purple above each disk; English in gold below), the corresponding Scripture reference for each in blue, and added some little silver dots to look like stars on a dark purple night sky.
• 12/17: O Wisdom – O Sapientia – Isaiah 11:2
• 12/18: O Lord – O Adonia – Isaiah 33:22
• 12/19: O Root of Jesse – O Radix Jesse – Isaiah 11:1
• 12/20: O Key of David – O Clavis David – Isaiah 22:22
• 12/21: O Dayspring – O Oriens – Isaiah 9:2
• 12/22: O King of the Nations – O Rex Gentium – Isaiah 2:4
• 12/23: O Emmanuel – O Emmanuel – Isaiah 7:14
This is how our O Antiphons poster looks in our chapel today: three disks in and only four left until Christmastide!
This year, since December 17 fell on a Sunday, we decided this would be the day to pull out our Little People nativity & Bethlehem sets (in years prior, they’ve either come out at the beginning of Christmas or the beginning of Advent). My husband and I acted out a nativity play for our kids on Sunday, using the toys as props, and our kids have been playing with the toys every since. We plan to leave it out in our family chapel until Candlemas.
I would also like to mention a beautiful set of O Antiphons disks that I’ve recently purchased from Jesse Tree Treasures, pictured on the right. I have not yet decided how best to use them in our home life yet. Right now, our O Antiphons poster works as a count-down for my kids: they see how many circles are left and know how much closer they are getting every day to Christmastide simply by counting the empty circles. I do hope to somehow use both in the coming years as my kids get older.
May the rest of your Advent be blessed and holy!